The Ryder Cup is a golf tournament held every two years between teams made up of players from the USA and Europe. The venue alternates between American and European golf courses, with the last one held in 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. The tournament is organized by Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA of America and is the only professional sports event (along with the Presidents Cup) that doesn’t have a prize money fund.
The Ryder Cup originally started as a tournament between the United States and Great Britain. It started in 1927, with the inaugural tournament taking place in Massachusetts. The hosts won the first 5 tournaments before it was put on pause due to World War II. After the war ended, the American team continued its dominance, resulting in the decision to include players from continental Europe in the British team from 1979. This decision was also inspired by the rise of Spanish golf led by young players such as Seve Ballesteros. Eventually, the competition became a match between players from the USA and Europe.
The Ryder Cup involves matches between two teams of twelve players which feature a captain and co-captains as well. It is always held from Friday to Sunday and all the matches are over 18 holes. The first two days consist of 4 fourballs and 4 foursomes (in the morning and afternoon), while the last day consists of 12 singles matches with all team members taking part. The captains select 8 golfers on Friday and Saturday while using them all on Sunday.
The scoring system gives a point to each team for a win and half a point (0.5) each for tied matches after 18 holes. The team that reaches 14 points first wins the tournament – in case of a tie (14 each), the current holder of the trophy retains it for two more years.
The process of selecting the golfers for each team went through a lot of changes through the years and is quite complex. The players were originally picked by a committee, which later evolved to picking golfers based on their performance in selected tournaments. From 1989, both teams have 9 players which qualify through performances on different tournaments, while the remaining 3 spots are picked by the captains, who also choose the playing order in matches. Thanks to the huge popularity and interest from the media, the Ryder Cup has also included celebrity matches from 2012, with sports legends such as Martina Navratilova, Scottie Pippen, and Andriy Shevchenko as well as Hollywood stars such as Bill Murray taking part.
This year’s Ryder Cup will be held in France at the Le Golf National course in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines from 28-30 September 2018. It’s only the second Ryder Cup to be held in continental Europe since 1997. The USA is the defending champion, but their track record in Europe hasn’t been great, with the American team losing their last 5 appearances on European golf courses.
Although the list of players is yet to be established, the American team will consist of the 8 leading golfers on the Ryder Cup list. The list is based on prize money won on major tournaments, with a point awarded for every $1000 won. The points are gained through the PGA Tour events, 2017 and 2018 majors, and the World Golf Championship. The captain will pick 4 players instead of 3 like in the past.
Jim Furyk was selected as USA’s captain last year and has appointed Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods, and Davis Love III as co-captains who will assist him with his duties.
Even though the American team doesn’t fare great in Europe, they are still heavy favourites for this year’s Ryder Cup. They are being given odds of 5/6 at SportNation and LV BET, which, if we’re being honest, aren’t that enticing. If you’d like to bet in the To Lift The Trophy market, SportNation gives the Americans odds of 20/31 which are a bit lower than the Outright winner market.
The Outright Winner odds for the USA are 5/6 at RedZoneSports as well, which also favours the Americans to lift the trophy at 20/31. The popular bookmaker Black Type also favours the Americans as the winners with odds of 4/5, with the odds for a draw being 10/1.
At Mansion Bet, the Americans are favourites with odds of 5/6 to win the Ryder Cup. The same bookie gives them 20/31 odds to lift the trophy. Things aren’t much different over at Letou – the USA is again the favourite for winning the Cup with odds of 5/6 and 20/31 to Lift The Trophy.
It’s clear that the odds are making the American team a heavy favourite for the 2018 Ryder Cup, but they won’t bring much in return for your bets, so make sure to choose your favourite carefully.
European captain Thomas Bjorn was picked by a committee consisting of the 3 last Ryder Cup European captains as well as European Tour Tournament members. The captain has appointed Robert Karlsson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, and Luke McDonald as vice-captains.
Bjorn will pick the four leading golfers from the Race to Dubai points list, and another four from the World Points list. Of course, he’ll also pick 4 additional players from the European Tour.
The odds aren’t in favour of Europe when it comes to the Ryder Cup. They’re being given odds of 6/5 at LV BET, with the odds for a tie being 10/1. At SportNation, Europe has odds of 23/20, while the tie stands at 10/1. SportNation gives the European team 23/20 odds to lift the trophy, which doesn’t make them favourites but gives you a better chance to win big money in return for a reasonable bet.
Black Type gives Europe odds of 23/20 to win the 2018 Ryder Cup, with the odds for a tie standing at 10/1. Things aren’t much different over at RedZoneSports – this bookie gives Europe lower chances of winning the Ryder Cup or lifting the trophy, with both markets standing at 23/20.
Mansion Bet also favours the USA over Europe, giving Thomas Bjorn and his team odds of 23/20 in both markets (Outright Winner and To Lift The Trophy). The odds for a tie at Mansion Bet are 10/1. Letou considers the Europeans outsiders in this year’s Ryder Cup, giving them odds of 23/20 in both markets.
The odds are certainly in the USA’s favour, but considering the American record at European soil and their seriously unappealing odds, you’re better off placing a bet on Europe.